A vital aspect of addiction recovery, group therapy is a specific form of counselling that serves as an indispensable element of substance abuse and mental health treatment. Even though enrolling in an alcohol and drug rehab clinic is a marvellous accomplishment, identifying the thoughts that trigger substance abuse, and finding healthier ways to cope with difficulties are what truly rehabilitates your life. Hence, involving in group therapy for addiction treatment and sharing your experiences with others who are dealing with similar issues can help you stay on track and create a new life that you have been working towards.
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a treatment aid used for psychological disorders. Unlike one-on-one counselling, group therapy involves regular sessions where individuals from different walks of life are treated together for the same health issue by a therapist.
Also, group therapy for drug addiction can be conducted anywhere in therapeutic settings, such as residential programs, outpatient programs, hospital-based recovery programs, and more. In addiction recovery, group therapy topics typically include:
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Handling family members and peers who give you a hard time
- Dealing with usual and unprecedented stressors
- Resolving struggles in personal relationships
- Managing sentiments successfully
Benefits of Group Therapy
In group therapies, most people often feel shy or awkward in the beginning. However, after they get accustomed to the process and routine, they realize the endless benefits of group therapy. Hence, along with providing a safe and non-judgmental environment to people with substance abuse, group therapy can:
- Allow you to interact with other people, which prevents loneliness and isolation
- Helps improve your confidence and self-esteem
- Inspires you to practice new, healthy behaviours
- Help you cope with your addictions
- Let you set the goals and accomplish them.
- Inhibits the feelings of stress, guilt, and pain
- Teach you to avoid destructive behaviours
- Help you develop a different perspective for situations and experiences
- Help you build trust and understanding
- Boost diverse and flexible thinking
- Ensure support and encouragement
What to Expect During Group Therapy?
Now, that you know what group therapy is and how it can help people with addictions, here’s what you can expect from a group therapy session.
Group therapies are both open and closed. While open groups allow people to join at any time, closed groups only allow members to participate until the end of the sessions. Also, on-site group counselling sessions are usually closed. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other local peer support groups can be both open or closed.
Setting Up a Room – Group counselling meetings usually take place in a closed space like a room or auditorium where chairs are arranged in a circle. This circle shape allows individuals to connect with each other.
Self-Introduction – Like any other class, group therapy sessions also start with an introduction. All the individuals start by introducing themselves. For example, you only have to state your name and reason for joining the group therapy for addiction treatment instead of sharing the entire story on the first day.
Group Discussion – Group discussions are focused on two things, dialogue or education. If the therapist chooses the discussion to be dialogue-centric, be prepared to share. While it may seem intimidating at first, everyone in the group is there because of some back story. They have the same struggles, and fears, and working towards the same goals as yours. Hence, be open to sharing your story, worries, concerns, hopes, and feelings in order to be understood by others.
Learning Aids – Learning aids are found to be useful in group sessions. The techniques such as written projects, visual aids, role-playing, audio files, and homework help you apply what you are learning.
The Progress – As you learn more about group counselling, you will learn the importance and meaning of progress. After a few sessions, everyone has to share their progress and experiences since the last session.
How Group Therapy Helps the Recovery Process?
Group Therapy in addiction detox process is crucial because being around other people can help you stay:
- Challenged, and
Let us see, how:
Group Therapy Improves Interpersonal Relationships
Addiction can take a toll on everything from your social status to interpersonal relationships. Not only that, addiction makes you selfish and make you think solely of your substance of choice. Being in a group therapy help you work on your social skills and relearn the benefits of interpersonal relationships. In group therapy, you will learn skills, such as:
- Listening to others
- Conflict management
While you can learn these skills in individual therapy as well, group therapy helps you apply these skills as you learn them. It will also let you make amends and improve relationships with your family, friends, employers, peers, and co-workers.